I’ve been in some discussions (not the heated kind, just honest talks) and have been doing some thinking and reading about the doctrines that are commonly called “Calvinism,” or the “doctrines of grace.” I think it is unfortunate that the label “Calvinism” is applied to these doctrines. The term “Calvinism” or “Calvinist” is a dirty word to many (especially to many in the Southern Baptist Convention), and is applied as an epithet to those who hold to a belief in God’s sovereignty in salvation and related issues. What troubles me about the term is that it seems to imply that John Calvin invented these ideas, that he came up with a brand new interpretation of the Scriptures heretofore unknown in church history. Of course this is silly. One finds them, for example, in Augustine (or, for that matter, dare I say Paul). The famous “5 points” were written as a refutation of the theology of Jakob Arminius, who developed his 5 points first. Anyway, this is not an argument one way or the other on the issue itself, just the nomenclature.
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